France is a dream destination among many people and it’s no surprise why. It’s got beautiful historical sights, truly unique culture, and of course, delicious food! Millions of travellers visit this country every year who come home with great memories to cherish forever. Unfortunately however, there’s a small percentage of unsuspecting travellers who fall victim to petty crimes like theft and fraud. So what do you do in the unlucky event that you’ve been robbed in France?
Here is our guide to all of the first things you need to do the moment you realize that you have been a victim of a robbery, theft, or pickpocketing in France.
A. File a police report online and book an appointment
This might seem like the last thing you’ll think of doing but trust us, this is a very important and helpful first step.
Normally, you can just walk in to a police station and report your theft, loss, or damages. But because most police officers in France only speak in French, it will be difficult to communicate the theft or loss that you had just experienced. Luckily, you can file a complete report online which will definitely help speed up the process when you get to the police station for your appointment or rendez-vous. Here is our step by step guide.
Step 1: Accessing the website
Go to the official website. In the bottom right corner of the page, click “Continuer”. Afterwards, click “Valider”.
Step 2: Choosing where to file your report
Choose the location in France where you’d like to file the complaint. If you’d like to file the report somewhere in Paris, choose ‘75 -Paris‘ from the scroll-down menu. Or you can click on ’75’ found in the top left corner of the map.
Here are the departments where other popular tourist destinations are located:
- Nice: 06 – Alpes Maritime
- Strasbourg: 67 – Bas Rhin
- Lyon: 69 – Rhône
- Toulouse: 31 – Haute Garonne
- Marseille: 13 – Bouches-du-Rhône
- Bordeaux: 33 – Gironde
- Lille: 59 – Nord
- Nantes: 44 – Loire-Atlantique
- Toulon: 83 – Var
Next is to choose a district or area in the city. It is recommended to choose the area where the theft occurred. In case of a theft in Paris, choose the arrondissement from 1 to 20.
The next page will reveal the address of the exact police station or “commissariat” in French, where you’ll be making your rendez-vous or appointment. Click “OUI”. Write down the address of the police station.
Step 3: Filling out your personal information
Identité – This part is where you’ll need to fill in your personal information. Choose the 1st option “victime” if you’re the one who got robbed. And then you’ll need to complete the form. Make sure that you answer all parts where there is an *.
Click “Continuer” and check all of the information before clicking on “Valider”.
Step 4: Describing the facts
1. Les Faits – Here is where you’ll describe the crime that took place. For theft, click “
In the second box, describe in simple words how the theft occurred. Include basic information such as where it happened, what time it was, and other important details you remember.
2. Le lieu de l’infraction – This is where you identify the exact location of where the offense occurred. Select “France” for the country and the same department and district or neighborhood as you did earlier. In the box, describe as exactly as possible where the offense took place: at your hotel, at a restaurant, at a shop, etc. and then specify it if you can.
If you have no idea where it happened, click the small box just below the text box.
3. La date de l’infraction – This is where you indicate the exact or approximate time of when the offense occurred. If you don’t know when it took place, click the last button on the left side of the page. When you’ve entered the details, click “Continuer”.
4. Violences en rapport avec l’infraction – This is where you indicate if any violence was committed against you. If none, click the button below the text box.
5. Eléments susceptibles d’orienter l’enquête – This is where you indicate any elements that can guide the investigation. You can describe the physical appearance of the perpetrator: hair, height, weight, clothing, etc. You can also indicate here if you know of any cameras in the scene where the offense took place.
Click the button below the textbox if you have no identifying elements to help the investigation.
*If you know who the perpetrator is, you’ll have to go directly to the police station.
6. Préjudice – This is where you indicate any physical harm suffered during the offense. If you’ve suffered any physical injuries, you’ll have to be examined by a physician to receive a medical certificate that you can present to be excused from work, school, or for insurance purposes.
Click the button below the textbox if there were no physical injuries.
Click “Continuer” to go to the next page.
Step 5: Describing the stolen items
Choix des objets concernés par l’infraction – Choose from the drop-down menu the description that best fits what was stolen from you. Here are some useful words:
- argent liquide – cash
- bijou – jewelry
- document officiel – passport
- moyen de paiement – credit card, debit card, cheque
- multimedia – camera, laptop, tablet, and other electronic gadgets
- multimedia – téléphone portable – mobile phone
- objet divers – various items
If you’d like to specify details regarding the item, click “Ajouter à la liste”. If not, you can proceed to the next part.
Estimation du préjudice matériel total – Here is where you’ll indicate the estimated value of the stolen item(s) in euros (€). If the value is unknown (for rental cars, jewelry, etc.) click “Préjudice à évaluer”.
Click “Continuer” to go to the next page.
Step 6: Your contact information
Coordonnées – Fill in how the police can contact you during your trip. You must enter your email address and a phone number (make sure that you indicate your phone includes the country code). Click here for a list of all the country codes.
Rendez-vous – Type in the text box all the possible dates and times you’d be available to head to the police station that you selected earlier.
Contact – Select from the drop-down box when you’re available for contact: morning or afternoon. Click “Continuer” to proceed to the final step.
Step 7: Appointment confirmation
When you’ve complete all the steps above, you’ll receive a confirmation receipt of your report. This online report will make your rendez-vous at the police station go smoother as you won’t struggle explaining the events anymore. The police authorities will set an appointment for you as soon as possible.
B. Replacing a lost or stolen passport
Step 1: File a police report
Before even heading to your country’s embassy, make sure that you have with you a copy of the police report that you had just filed. If you’ve had no time to do it online, you can directly head to the nearest police station or commissariat and file the report there.
Préfecture Police Paris headquarters:
- 9 Bu du Palais, 75004 Paris
- +33 (0)1 53 71 53 71
- Metro Line 4 to Cité Station
Step 2: Head to your embassy or consulate
Here is a list (incomplete) of the embassies and consulates located in Paris. You’ll also need to take a new photo to apply for a new passport. Depending on the embassy or consulate, you can be issued a temporary or emergency passport within a day of requesting for one.
We highly recommend travellers visiting foreign countries to make copies of their passport. This will make the process of replacing your passport much faster! You’ll need at least a copy of your passport’s first page and the visa page that concerns the country or countries you’re traveling to. Colored copies will also be best.
C. Canceling your credit card
Step 1: Call your credit card company
Most credit card companies have a hotline where you can call them without charges. Make sure to cancel your card as soon as possible. If your mobile phone has been stolen along with your wallet, you can head back to your hotel and request to make a phone call to your credit card company.
Even before leaving for your trip, it’s a good idea to let your bank know that you’ll be traveling overseas. This is also a good time to ask for their emergency hotline numbers in case you lose your credit or debit cards.
Another smart thing to do, similar with your passport, would be to make copies of your cards. You may also write them down and keep them somewhere safe. Knowing your credit card information will make the process of canceling your cards and getting a replacement much faster.
Last tip is to make sure to bring a back-up debit card or some emergency cash. Even though it is unlikely that you’ll be needing it during your trip, you’ll have that sense of security while traveling.
We hope you’ve found this article useful and that you won’t be needing to do any of these steps while you’re traveling in France! Safe travels!